I contrived this sentence, but had a hard time explaining how to construct sentences of similar nature, the sentence being

He returned to the city from having travelled the world

Meaning, "[someone] has come back to the city; after the task [traveling the world] has completed"

I'm curious to know if this usage falls under a definition of from, or if it's incorrect grammar altogether.

My gut feeling was to define this phrase as the following:

[action] from having [prior action]

To mean

[action] after [prior action] has completed in its entirety

However, I'm a bit confused on if there are constraints between the [action] and [prior action] (for example, if the two must be related in some way).

Some additional example sentences

  1. I ran outside from having been trapped indoors all day
  2. I am running outside from having been trapped indoors all day
  3. I will run outside from having been trapped indoors all day
  4. I ran outside from having eaten an apple
  5. I am running outside from having eaten an apple
  6. I will run outside from having eaten an apple

#1 sounds natural to me, 2 sounds somewhat awkward but acceptable, and 3 sounding fairly ridiculous (but acceptable).
The same is mirrored for 4, 5, and 6; however, would require additional context (ie. maybe the Apple was preventing me from being able to open the door).

Additional thoughts and resources are highly appreciated! -- Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    From in the example sentence is part of the construction return from. That is, from (along with to) is the automatic preposition that gets attached to return. Oct 18, 2020 at 20:59
  • I'd guess that 'returned to X from Y' needs X, Y to be states, lifestyles, at least one of them being some great venture or position. 'He returned to the country from having worked in the city' falls rather flat. Mar 13, 2022 at 15:53
  • It seems a bit unidiomatic to me. I'd prefer return after Xing.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 8, 2022 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


Simply googling 'define from' returned a second definition being

indicating the point in time at which a particular process, event, or activity starts

So the usage of 'from' that you're using is acceptable semantically. There is the question of pragmatics, still, which would indicate that most of your example sentences don't really sound natural. In my personal opinion, I would reserve it for the past tense and avoid gerunds when using it, but I'm not exactly sure if they're ungrammatical.

  • I'm sure that this is the 'from + temporal nominative' ('from Tuesday / 1876 / half past six ...' usage, not 'from [significant activity'. (A link would be helpful, to see any example sentences included). Dictionaries can be misinterpreted. Jul 6 at 10:26

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